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​I do know when I first fell in love with her. It must have been during that first six months. What I don’t remember is when I realized that I was. And am. Maybe not until tonight. 

The 19 years I spent with her came over me tonight after a tvshow we saw. The realisation that it was 19 years of close contact. Together or planning to be.  

Now seven long years apart and in another lifetime it seems… I still remember every detail of her – fragrance and smell, sound, sight, movement, atmosphere, heat. Her houses and bicycles and food. Every spot and variety of her being. How she feelt on my skin. Around me. How it feels to long for her and reach her. 

She is full of life. A vibrant life of colours flowing like a river. Endless for eternity to come and from time immemorial.

Her folks have a way about them – a laidback carefree life. Maybe it is because, as a guy put it in the show we watched, they ‘never doubt their own existence’, not like us westerners who worrry about everything. I have never met worry around her. And that total confidence that life goes on for eternity and there’s nothing you can do about adding to your wealth or your lifespan or even to justice. Everyone gets what is coming to them. No more and no less. 

Ofcourse there are things lacking. She is not particularly great on forgiveness and justice for her oppressed and freedom for her women and many of her people often lie and steal and are lazy. Things to work on. Jesus could fix that.

But 19 long short years growing up and she was always there. Like a rock in troubled waters. Steady. Unwavering.

Every time my feet hit her solid ground after a long flight and I breathed her thick warm air it was like coming home.

Now I remember the light of the midday sun, guesthouses with dirty bathrooms, the worlds most beautiful languages, train rides for days, mangoes, stations stinking of urine, softly flowing rivers, peacocks, honking horns, cockroaches, fine dust, crows, garbage, colourful clothing, incense, burning human bodies, cows in the middle of the street…

I was a foreigner among her people but she was my second mother. Maybe it was when I learnt to sing Bande Mataram in fourth grade that I realized. 

I love her.

And I miss her.